I recently came to the conclusion that is it difficult for me to change. Change is hard for everyone, or at least the cliche says so, and though I feel as though I have always sought shift and movement (travel), there are a lot of deep set habits that are really hard to break ( or begin….)
Most relevant for this blog is to write about how I eat. I grew up in my parents’ garden, and they even raised their own pigs and chickens for meat. I knew about good food, but I wasn’t then taught about ‘bad.’ ‘Bad’ foods consisted of basically gushers or fruit snacks from the store, and even then I think I only thought they were bad because they were too expensive for my parents to purchase.
I drank milk by the gallon, impressing my mom’s friends when I would order it with dinner. I still love the stuff, but noticing a different affect on my body now, I am not sure how much I believe in it anymore.
Gluten-free cooking blogs bore me. The way they’re written can seem a bit defensive, even apocalyptic. I have been telling myself for a few years now that I probably have a gluten allergy. As of yet, the only successful cut I have made it to stop drinking beer. And since gluten and dairy go so well together, I am still consuming the two evils in one greasy 2am slice (though less often I’m sure.) At least in NEw York I had an excuse, pizza was cheap eats I could afford, now it’s just weak will power. Though, at the same time as I showcase my failings, I do feel as though I have made some permanent moves this year.
A year ago I started the September localvore challenge. I have kept most of my grocery receipts since moving in, and September was a pretty high month at first. I did have my own garden, but I had planted a lot of tomatoes last year, and the blight effected all of them, sadly. I experimented with fried green tomatoes – delicious, but time consuming. So I was purchasing a lot from Paul Mazza’s farm stand, and meat from Jericho Settler’s Farm ($$!). I still have olive oil, so I stayed with that rather than buying sunflower oil, which would have been local, but I even cut out coffee and most teas….for about two weeks anyway.
That small experiment ignited a passion. I permanently try to purchase mostly locally made or grown things now. I preach it (hopefully it doesn’t sound too preachy) to family and friends, because it’s an easy argument! Most everyone can relate to some aspect of this economic crisis, and we can participate actively by buying products that benefit our communities. It’s not necessarily the extremists who make the most change, it’s the small, regular things we do that every day. Buying organic, fine. Buying free trade, perhaps locally roasted or ground coffee and chocolate (things tough to give up) thoughtful. Buying something from your neighbor, delicious (probably organic) and life saving.
I have had many conversations with friends who seem passionate about buying local foods and putting good things in their body, Then I see their grocery receipts and cupboards, and it’s mostly pasta, cheap chicken, packaged sauce. Maybe it’s just boys. Are there still home-ec classes in high school? Maybe we should change them to food-network themed cooking classes, and kids would like them more (and learn more).
** DING DING!
Well back to myself 😛 I’m lucky to be in Vermont, I’ll say it again. When I leave, I am lost, lost in the grocery store. I have no idea what is local, and no idea where to start. I suppose I start with organic, but it’s not what I want. I want that farmstand on the side of the road. I want easily labeled local foods (like city market, yay!) and to know that even while traveling, I can go and participate in their economic system….more than just paying tolls on the highway and such. I also want to eat good food, since it’s hard to do that while your on the road.
I like to eat, I like to talk about my food, I want my food to talk….ahem. Let us eat poems.